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In re Parentage of C.S.

Court of Appeals of Washington
139 P.3d 366 (2006)


Sherry (plaintiff) and Dean (plaintiff) had an open marriage and were not sexually monogamous. Sherry and Dean belonged to a swingers group. Sherry met Frederick (defendant) at a swingers party, and they became sexually involved. Sherry became pregnant. Sherry informed Dean that the child may not be his, but Dean was legally presumed to be the father, because he and Sherry were married. A month after the child, C.S., was born, a DNA test excluded Dean as his father. Dean and Sherry decided to end their marriage. A few months later, Sherry contacted Frederick by e-mail. Frederick was a married attorney, and his wife was unaware of his infidelities. Frederick decided to remove his online presence so that Sherry was unable to reach him. A year and a half after C.S.'s birth, a DNA test confirmed that Frederick was C.S.'s biological father. Frederick began paying $500 per month in child support. Over two years after C.S.'s birth, Dean filed a petition to disestablish paternity and adjudicate Frederick as the father. Sherry joined in the petition. Frederick filed a motion to dismiss, asserting that the action was barred by the statute of limitations. The court granted Frederick's motion and dismissed the petition. Sherry and Dean appealed, arguing that the discovery rule should apply and toll the statute of limitations.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Ellington, J.)

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